When other treatments have failed, clinical trials may prevail! Clinical trials open the gates to new treatments and medicines that can save lives. However, an average of only 15% of Americans has participated in clinical trials, and only 20% heard about clinical trials from their physician! The progression of medical technology is vital to our success in becoming a healthier society. So how to we reach these medical milestones? In order for these treatments to be successful and benefit the public, they must be tested on humans.
Now don’t think of yourself as a lab rat. Only the most promising treatments make it out of the lab after vigorous and repetitive tests. Many clinical trials are reviewed by a committee called the Institutional Review Board (IBR) and assess clinical trials to ensure that they yield worthy benefits with minimal risks. The IRB is made up of physicians, statisticians, and other qualified members to protect patient rights.
Clinical trials have yielded incredible results and made modern medicine what it is today. If you are interested in participating in clinical trials you probably have many concerns and questions such as, “how do I get involved, the benefits, and what are the risks?” I’m going to skim over some of the general answers, but you can find out more information by talking to your Houston Metro Urology Physician or visit hmutx.com/clinical_trials.php.
How to get Involved:
To enter into a clinical trial you must first consider what is called a “protocol.” The protocol outlines basic questions of the study such as:
- Who is eligible to participate
- Details about the procedures, dosages, and test
- The length of the study and what information will be gathered
Risks and benefits:
As with all clinical trials, urology or not, they’re going to be risks. You must consider the seriousness of harm that may result from taking part in the trial and the chances of harm occurring. The majority of clinical studies only risk is slight discomfort for a small amount of time. More serious studies can put you at risk that requires medical treatment. A member of the Houston Metro Urology Clinical Research Team will inform you of all the major risks and benefits that are associated with the particular study thoroughly. We want you to feel comfortable and educated about all the facts that pertain to the study before you give your informed consent.
By participating in clinical trials, you are helping pioneer new medicine and treatments that not only could potentially save you, but also save lives after you.